More than anything else, solo dev Oscar Brittain’s upcoming sci-fi shooty-racer Desert Child reminds me of Cinemaware’s ancient DOS and Amiga games. It’s one thing to present a racing career as a series of circuits with nothing of note in-between, but I’d say it’s far more interesting to portray the whole thing as a rags-to-riches cinematic story. Desert Child is stylish, self-assured and packed with deviations, minigames and weird interactions, as you can see in its confident new trailer within.
I have a feeling that the anime film Redline is practically going to be required reading for Desert Child. It’s a wild treat for the senses, if a bit shallow, but shares some concepts – the road to space-racing glory looks a whole lot rougher when you start poor. In Desert Child, you start out with little more than a battered hoverbike, a dream and barely enough money to keep yourself topped up on ramen, so you’re going to have to get creative if you want to get famous. Sometimes you’ve got to bend (or break) a few rules, as you can see in the trailer below.
It looks like the concept of the game has expanded a lot from the early builds we played back last year. There’s a whole lot more walking, talking and systems at work, including a complex upgrade screen allowing you to rewire the guts of your hoverbike, plus the occasional opportunity to steal components from other people’s rides. What you’ll be doing to bump up your fame and funds looks to be just as varied, including pizza delivery, diving into vaporwave cyberspace and even running with a herd of kangaroos. It looks wild, and I want it.
Desert Child is due out in the third quarter of 2018, now backed by publisher Akupara Games. You can wishlist it over on Steam here.